Not Yet the Collection: Danger Zone

This week’s prompt, provided by Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch fame, was to write a 99-word story (no more, no less) about a danger zone and to go where the prompt leads.

From the Carrot Ranch site: June 13, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a danger zone. It can be an exciting plot-driven story (think “story spine”) or a situation a character must confront. Play with different genres, and use craft elements like tension, tone, and pacing. Go where the prompt leads!

This pedometer geek writer didn’t quite know what to do with this prompt, but decided that not every danger zone is obvious and came up with the following:

A Danger Zone

Going to an upscale restaurant causes anxiety for me; however, it wasn’t always that way.

The first time it happened at a nice restaurant. One bite caused a reaction. A dose of epinephrine stopped it.

Once diagnosed, it was easy to avoid by asking if there were any pine nuts because of a life-threatening allergy.

Much later, it’s another restaurant, another bite, and then, anaphylaxis, a trip to the ER, and an overnight stay.

Eventually, even cross- contamination of utensils causes minor reactions.

Would another accidental bite be the one that caused death? Despite Epi-pens, it’s the Danger Zone.

~Nancy Brady, 2022

To read all the stories concocted by the Word Wranglers of Carrot Ranch, check out the blog at http://www.carrotranch.com on or after June 22 when the stories should be posted. #99wordstories   

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Not Yet The Collection: Stacking Stones

Last week’s prompt at Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch was to write a 99-word (no more, no less) story about stacking stones. She tasked the Word Wranglers to go where the prompt leads.

For the prompt, this pedometer geek writer wrote the following:

A Local Mystery

It’s not private, but this public beach was tucked away, a hidden treasure. Teens, especially, enjoyed the beach; on summer nights, they’d head there, start a bonfire, and chill with friends.

One teen had always been fascinated with building things. As a toddler, Marco played with blocks. As a boy, he loved building things with Lego. So naturally, whenever Marco went to the beach, he’d gather stones together and build a tower.

After learning about them, Marco built his first Inukshuk. When the rock tower was destroyed, he returned, resurrecting his Inukshuk. Marco secretly built them day after day.

~Nancy Brady, 2022

For those unfamiliar with the term, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

An inuksuk or inukshuk is a type of manmade stone landmark or cairn built for use by the Inuit, Iñupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found in northern Canada, Greenland, and Alaska.

Reading Rob Smith’s Shrader Marks: Keelhouse (two novels under one cover) was one of the first times this pedometer geek was made aware of the term. I have read the book several times and highly recommend it, but I digress

To read all the #99wordstories, head over to http://www.carrotranch.com and look for The Collection: Stacking Stones.

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Not the Collection: In Memory of…

This week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch was to write in 99 words (no more, no less), a story behind a memorial. Is it a structure, plaque, or something else? What does it seek to remind those who view it? Go where the prompt leads!

Well, this pedometer geek writer decided to write the following story:

In Memory Of…

The memorial stone Julia passed on her walk around town was no longer a mystery.

Julia had moved to the city; she wondered about this marker especially after a pine was removed, leaving the stone exposed.

Julia eventually learned the whole story of the woman behind the memorial because she met and became friends with Shirley, Marcella’s daughter.

After the pine was thoughtlessly cut down, Shirley started placing silk flowers at the stone throughout the year. Once Shirley became housebound, Julia took up the mantle.

Julia still changes the flowers despite Shirley’s dementia because someone needs to remember them.    

~Nancy Brady, 2022

My story may seem familiar since I have written a few blogs, one of which was a poem, about this memorial stone over the years. Now that story is continued.

The Collection should be posted in a day or so at http://www.carrotranch.com and all the stories about memorials. Check them out.

#99wordstories

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BP: Failed Haiku #78

The June edition of Failed Haiku #78 is now out. It contains almost two hundred pages of senryu, a kind of haiku, from haiku poets from around the globe. The subject for the issue was food and a guest editor, Pippa Phillips, made the selections.

This pedometer geek poet submitted a few to the journal, and a couple of them were chosen for inclusion. They are as follows:

 spring picnic…

 the gulls eat

 sushi                   

.

mango…

what our family called

a green pepper

~Nancy Brady, 2022

Thanks Pippa for choosing these poems for inclusion; it’s appreciated.To read all the food-related senryu, check out www.failedhaiku.com

On a different subject altogether, this pedometer geek participated in May’s Million Mile Month (#MMMiam2022) with a goal of 120 miles, and that goal was exceeded with a total of 127.58 miles, thanks to better weather.

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Not The Collection: The Well’s Gone Dry

This week’s prompt at Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch blog was to write a 99-word (no more, no less) story that included the phrase, “the well’s gone dry” and to go where the prompt leads.

Normally, this pedometer geek writer waits to post the story after Charli Mills posts the Collection so that it can be linked to her site; however, this time I will make an exception. The story is as follows:

An Ordinary Day

It was an ordinary day until it wasn’t.

Another mass shooting, in a small Texas town, this time. Twenty-one dead: two teachers trying to protect their students and nineteen young children. Each family, in minutes, losing the future they thought they’d know. A town left to grieve.  Hardened news reporters turning away from the camera, returning to say, “I’m sorry.” The country is sorry.

Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Dayton’s Oregon District, Las Vegas, and too many others still resonate, reminding of callous, indiscriminate gunfire, more loss of life, more grieving families, and more tears until the well’s gone dry. 

~Nancy Brady, 2022

The Collection should be posted on or after June 1, 2022; check out all the stories written with the phrase, the well’s gone dry at www.carrotranch.com as well as the latest stories from the Word Wranglers for last week’s prompt of re-writing Charli’s story in a different way.

#99wordstories

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BP: Haiku Happenings, May 2022

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams’ May, 2022 issue of her online haiku journal, Stardust Haiku: Poetry With a Little Sparkle Issue # 65, has just been published. Once again, the issue has haiku from poets around the world. There are four different continents and eleven different countries represented.

This pedometer geek writer was pleased to find that one of the haiku submitted was accepted. It is as follows:

      the umbrella

of a flowering cherry

    –spring rain

~Nancy Brady, 2022

Thanks, Valentina, for accepting this haiku for inclusion. To read all of the haiku from this month’s issue, check out www.stardusthaiku.blogspot.com

Another haiku was accepted for the Nick Virgilio’s Haiku In Action, Week 21, and this pedometer geek writer was overjoyed to have one included on the prompt, a single leaf. It is as follows:

rainy afternoon

a maple leaf stuck

to the windshield

~Nancy Brady, 2022

Thank you to the editor of the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association for choosing one of my haiku. It is truly appreciated. To read all the haiku chosen for this and other previous prompts or to submit to the current prompt, check out www.nickvirgiliohaiku.org

Now, to get back to the other tasks on my to-do list, which includes a few submissions due by the end of May.

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Story Chat: As Far as a Prisoner Can Go

Last week’s prompt at Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch was to rewrite a story in 99 words (no more, no less) based on the short story, As Far as a Prisoner Can Go, which Charli wrote for Story Chat. The Word Wranglers were to write the same story, but different. She indicated we could change genre, wreck it, etc.

This pedometer geek writer really changed it up, really wrecked it, and it is as follows:

Escape from a Prison

The invasion began with bombs and gunfire. Oksana and her husband Andriy were hiding out. Andriy was obligated to serve, but he insisted she must go.

Escaping the prison of a bomb shelter, Oksana made the last train out of Kyiv, knowing she was leaving behind Andriy to fight, perhaps die.    

The train only went so far; she would need to walk miles toward a new world. Along the way, Oksana found a young child crying and clinging to his dead parents.

Oksana picked up the boy, calling him Matviy, making him her own as they continued toward safety.

~Nancy Brady, 2022

All the names used in this story are Ukrainian and the names were picked for their meanings.

To read Charli’s short story and read all the other stories by the Word Wranglers as well as the feedback, check out https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/05/10/may-story-chat-as-far-as-a-former-prisoner-can-go

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The Collection: Mom Selfies

Last week’s prompt, provided by Charli Mills, at Carrot Ranch was to write a 99-word (no more, no less) about a mom selfie and to go where the prompt led.

This pedometer geek writer does not take selfies, nor do I have the technology of a smartphone so this prompt was a bit difficult although it was easier than the prompt for this week, but I digress. Regardless, this pedometer geek writer managed the following story:

Ethnicity: Does It Matter?

Mom always said that her father never said where they came from except to say they were hilligans. When I asked what that meant, she said she didn’t know.

Not knowing or questioning her father didn’t seem to bother her. Mom accepted his explanation and considered the matter closed.  Not me, though, I wondered.

She knew her grandparents surnames and from that, I can only surmise that they were Scottish. Could they have on the wrong side at the Battle of Culloden and been forced to emigrate? Could they have been Highlanders kicked off their lands? I’ll never know.

~Nancy Brady, 2022

To be perfectly honest, I still don’t know exactly what my grandfather meant by hilligan; I can make an educated guess though. When I wrote this story, I even checked to see if there was a definition of it. Urban Dictionary had one, but that definition doesn’t fit the reality of what I knew about him since I knew where he grew up.

To read all the stories by the Word Wranglers in The Collection: Mom Selfies, check out the blog at http://www.carrotranch.com. They are worth reading.

In the meantime, this Word Wrangler needs to write to this week’s prompt. To join in. check out the blog to find out what the weekly prompt is because everyone is invited to the Carrot Ranch.

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The Collection: Extraction

This week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch, set by Charli Mills, was to write a 99-word piece (no more, no less) about an extraction or something extracted (and how or why it may have come about). The Collection is now up at the blog at Carrot Ranch: http://www.carrotranch.com and all the stories written by the Word Wranglers can be read there.

This pedometer geek writer wrote the following;

Caution: Pharmacist at Work

At the College of Pharmacy, I made tablets, solutions, emulsions, ointments, creams, and suppositories. Whether I ever made an extract, I can’t recall; however, I can’t imagine that I didn’t. After all, our class even made eye drops with a laminar flow hood. As a pharmacist, I made many compounded prescriptions

This recipe required vanilla extract, and I wondered: could I make it? Considering that I was out, and with supply chain issues, so was the store. I scanned the shelves carefully, and then I saw it. Wedged behind lemon extract, one bottle of vanilla—I slowly extracted it.   

~Nancy Brady, 2022

Most of the time I do not write in First Person, even if the events being related are BOTS (based on a true story); however, this time I felt that it was appropriate. Although now retired, being a pharmacist is still one of the most important parts of my life, and I have to admit I loved compounding prescriptions when I had the opportunity.

One of my favorite things to show pharmacy interns or pharmacy technicians was how to make (deal with) an eutectic mixture since I always found it fascinating. If curious about this, ask; I’ll be happy to explain it further.

Check out all the stories at Carrot Ranch; they are worth reading. http://www.carroranch.com

On another subject altogether, the pedometer geek is participating in May’s Million Mile Month to meet the community-wide goal of 1,000,000 miles, which are being combined with April’s results.

Last month this pedometer geek exceeded my chosen goal of 100 miles with an extra 19+ miles; this month, the goal I set was 120 miles. As of May 12, I have nearly 50 miles, which means with a little over two weeks, I have to get moving. Fortunately, as opposed to the rainy April we had, the weather is warmer and sunnier now and perfect for getting out and walking.

Having said that, Healthcode.org is always looking for more participants in their global community. Consider joining in, or at least, add in healthy movement to your day.

Posted in #millionmilemonth, #shamelessselfpromotion, 99-word flash fiction, BP, Carrot Ranch | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

The Collection: Up and Away

This week’s Carrot Ranch prompt, given by Charli Mills, was to write a 99-word (no more, no less) story using the phrase up and away.

This pedometer geek writer chose to write the following:

Up Into the Sky

Aloysius, the white cat, liked to fly ever since he found the blue jay feather, which, when tucked behind his left ear, gave him the power to soar. He didn’t need to say the magic words, “up and away,” or need a beautiful balloon; he just needed his feather and his desire to fly.

When he flew, Aloysius felt so empowered that he almost felt like he ended up in a fifth dimension, a dimension where it was just sky filled with fluffy clouds and the sun shining on his fur. Returning to earth, though, was a pleasure, too.  

~Nancy Brady, 2022

The Collection is now up on the blog. The stories written by the Word Wranglers are so varied. Check out all the stories; they can be found here: http://www.carrotranch.com

Posted in 99-word flash fiction, flash fiction | Tagged , , | 6 Comments